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Activists Celebrate President Biden’s Leadership in the Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act; Turn White House to Pivot to Canceling Student Loan Debt

Clock is ticking for Biden to make key decisions on student loans

Published on August 13, 2022

Statement from Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, NAACP: “We are grateful to the White House for listening to communities and people who represent those who are directly affected with staggering student debt. We look forward to a robust announcement in the coming weeks. The NAACP continues to urge the president to cancel a minimum of $50,000 in student debt per borrower, to significantly reduce the racial wealth gap and address the needs of Black and brown communities. The research and personal experiences of the American people overwhelmingly underscore the need to cancel more than $10,000. As we’ve made clear, equity must guide his decision.

“Beyond the Inflation Reduction Act, student debt cancellation could be President Biden’s next historic economic win for all Americans, reaching those from many professions and communities, young and older Americans alike. We will continue to engage with the White House in the coming days and weeks.”

Statement from Melissa Byrne, executive director, We the 45 Million: “Congratulations to President Biden for the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act- historic investment in climate and healthcare that will lower costs for American families. President Biden can continue the critical work of lowering costs by using executive action to cancel all federal student loan debt, automatically for all without any means testing. 45M families are counting on him!”

Statement from Max Lubin, Co-Founder & CEO, Rise, Inc: “President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act is a historic accomplishment. By lowering costs, cleaning up the environment, and making healthcare more affordable, President Biden is giving future generations a chance for a brighter future. Now is the moment for President Biden to continue fighting special interests that hold Americans back by keeping his promise to eliminate student loan debt. Bringing badly needed economic relief to 45 million Americans will level the playing field for all Americans to be able to buy a home, start a business, and strengthen our nation.”

Statement from Kristin McGuire, Executive Director for Young Invincibles: “The Inflation Reduction Act represents a landmark federal health policy achievement. In an era of hyperpolarization and gridlock, President Biden has risen to the task and delivered clear, substantive victories for young people. But he need not stop now. President Biden could make a material difference in the lives of tens of millions of Americans saddled with student loan debt as they confront an uncertain economy and high inflation. Broad student loan debt cancellation is squarely within his grasp. Means testing measures attached to any cancellation effort from the Biden Administration would diminish the impact of debt relief, particularly for those borrowers who need it the most. Let’s not complicate this decision. Broad student debt cancellation without means-testing or asterisks would cement President Biden’s legacy as a decisive leader who rose to meet the challenges of our time.”

Statement from Persis Yu, Policy Director & Managing Counsel, Student Borrower Protection Center: “We are pleased to see Congress and the Administration tackle the very real financial strain facing American families through the historic passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. But student loan debt is a central economic issue impeding the financial security of nearly 45 million borrowers—especially those from low-income communities and communities of color. With payments set to resume in less than a month, we cannot return borrowers to this broken student loan system. It is time for President Biden to deliver on his promise and provide broad student debt cancellation to all borrowers.”

Associate Writer